Cleaving an Unknown World

The Powell Expeditions and the Scientific Exploration of the Colorado Plateau

In 2009 the University of Utah Press and the Utah State Historical Society co-published three volumes of long out-of-print journals, letters, and other documents from John Wesley Powell’s expeditions down the Colorado River. We are proud to announce the fourth and final volume. Cleaving an Unknown World collects Powell’s journal (Smithsonian Journal of History, 1968); Jack Hillers’s diary and photographs, previously published as Photographed All the Best Scenery, edited by Don D. Fowler (University of Utah Press, 1972); original maps from Francis Marion Bishop (Utah Historical Quarterly, 1969); Frederick S. Dellenbaugh’s letters (Utah Historical Quarterly, 1969); and John C. Sumner’s journal from the first Powell expedition (Utah Historical Quarterly, 1969). Roy Webb’s foreword provides the context for these disparate pieces.

This beautifully illustrated book features Hillers’s photographs—long regarded as a remarkable and unique record of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. Cleaving an Unknown World belongs in the library of any reader interested in the exploration of the American West.

Don Fowler is Mamie Kleberg Distinguished Professor of Historic Preservation and Anthropology Emeritus, University of Nevada, Reno. He is the author of numerous publications on the archaeology and anthropology of the American Southwest, including The Glen Canyon Country: A Personal Memoir (University of Utah Press, 2011), A Laboratory for Anthropology (University of Utah Press, 2010), and is co-editor, with Linda Cordell, of Southwest Archaeology in the Twentieth Century (University of Utah Press, 2005).

Praise and Reviews:

“Now, to round out their goal of publishing all of the original Powell documents, and to further their service to historians, scholars, and the general public, the University of Utah Press has gathered these disparate documents together in the present volume. All . . . who cooperated with this project are to be congratulated for this work, and have earned the gratitude of a whole new generation of readers, historians, and river runners.”—from the foreword by Roy Webb